15 January 2019

Vitamin B12 Injections Put to the Test

Doctors' senior investigative producer Leslie Marcus tests the claims surrounding vitamin B12 injections with Monique, Brooke and Jennet. Did these women ...

Leslee joins us now with more on her

findings welcome to all of you now you did this study mm-hmm and you were excited about so I am anxious to find out a little bit about what you found yes so I originally picked our test subjects because all of you have different diets right Monique has a normal diet Brooke you're a vegan and Janette you don't eat red meat so I wanted to see how the b12 injection would each affect you differently it's been a few days how are you all feeling let's start with you money I feel amazing I'm a new mom and I noticed that the b12 gave me an extra boost of energy which is perfect for keeping up with my daughter all day great and Brooke I felt a lot more energized I feel like there's a little bit more pep in my step and it's been a great enhancement to my own diet and regiment how about you Jeanette I feel amazing my energy levels are definitely up and I haven't needed that 2 o'clock nap that I normally take every day so get out of it Wow give me some of that so we had your blood tested and the reason that I had it tested was to see if you were actually b12 deficient in the first place

and we have some interesting findings Monique you aren't deficient at all Brooke you're a Meighan and you aren't deficient either and Jeanette's you don't eat red meat and you are severely b12 deficient really yeah very interesting well it's interesting because b12 is necessary it's an absolutely essential vitamin and if you do not have have adequate levels you need to supplement and so it makes a lot of sense that you had this this newfound energy because you weren't efficient now what I also find interesting is the other element which is why these injections can be so popular even if theoretically your b12 levels normal and that's where may I say the word mm-hmm placebo effect comes into play well and and that being said I think it's important to understand that popping off your b12 doesn't help no I mean if you are if your b12 levels are normal and you get more and more it's not going to like improve the system so that's a bad way under sweater soluble so if you take that extra b12 you're just urinating it out it's actually not stored in your system but I think there may be even a bigger placebo

effect sometimes because these are shots so when you think about something going into the bloodstream only a one and a half to about 15% of the population is actually deficient in b12 and much more common in people like you who avoid red meat but actually really interesting that you're vegan and you didn't have an issue because we worry about this much more in vegans and vegetarians and certainly older people as well what's interesting is if you don't have your blood levels checked it's not as though as a doctor you're just gonna say oh I can tell by looking at you doctor or and then your b12 levels are low the symptoms are so diverse and so that's why if you think you might be low you should get tested if you're low you should supplement but that brings us to kind of the secondary part of your investigation yes because every place I called none of them recommended that I get my blood tested first they were just telling me to jump on the b12 bandwagon yet you know what I'll give you this shot you'll feel instantly better which we know isn't true because your joy this time because your system if you are deficient and I think the craziest claim

out of all of these places is the weight loss so now there's this new trend where it basically b12 can give you energy if you are deficient and the thought is that if you get this energy that you'll go to the gym more and work out harder so it's a theoretical you flawed approach I believe to getting these injections in the first place and then they're trying to sell you on boosters that they put in these b12 injections you can leave their pain one hundred fifty two hundred dollars for a set of five but very easy to buy into it the fact that it's an injection the fact that it's colorful the fact just the way it looks make you think oh that's gotta be doing something I think this is one of the most interesting trends Leslie found this oh I definitely want to make sure we cover it is the people trying to DIY this right so all over the internet people are they're obsessed with b12 so they're buying veterinarian grade b12 meant for livestock's the cows on that injecting it themselves and the reviews are crazy I felt better immediately I do this every day I inject myself this stuff I got it came in two days it's so readily

available and you really don't know what you're putting in your body you don't end up moving if you do use it you'll have a lot of energy right